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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re: Not surprised (Score 1) 293

by American AC in Paris (#49134515) Attached to: Reddit Imposes Ban On Sexual Content Posted Without Permission

When a forum starts to limit legal speech a slowly growing cancer of censorship is inevitable.

1. Reddit cannot, in any way, stop you from expressing your opinion. The most they can do is refuse to facilitate said expression.

2. I find it amusing that such a staunch, unyielding proponent of True Free Speech would use such a tremendously wiggly, pro-oversight qualifier as legal In defining what they consider acceptable. Legal implies a level of trust in the state that is entirely at odds with the rest of your post.

Comment: Re: Not surprised (Score 5, Interesting) 293

by American AC in Paris (#49134509) Attached to: Reddit Imposes Ban On Sexual Content Posted Without Permission

When a forum starts to limit legal speech a slowly growing cancer of censorship is inevitable.

1. Reddit cannot, in any way, stop you from expressing your opinion. The most they can do is refuse to facilitate said expression.

2. I find it amusing that such a staunch proponent of True Free Speech would use such a tremendously wiggly, pro-oversight qualifier as legal In defining what they consider acceptable. Legal implies a level of trust in the state that is entirely at odds with the rest of your post.

Comment: Just Remember (Score 5, Insightful) 187

by American AC in Paris (#49130461) Attached to: Google Now Automatically Converts Flash Ads To HTML5

I cannot even begin to count the number of commenters here who pushed HTML5 as the best way to end, once and for all, those incredibly invasive and annoying Flash ads.

You got exactly what you were asking for.

So long as business is on the web, there will never, ever, ever be a technological "solution" to online advertising. There's simply too much money at stake for that to happen.

Comment: Re:Seriously, an Apple car? (Score 4, Funny) 196

by American AC in Paris (#49095365) Attached to: A123 Sues Apple For Poaching Employees

I can see it now:

Apple announces the Apple Car. It only comes in three styles (coupe, sedan, and light SUV), three colors each. It has no steering wheel, no pedals, and no user-maintainable parts. They are shiny, closed systems, are well-marketed, and work well, with some quirks here and there.

Naturally, serious gearheads, tinkers, and the automotive industry chuckle at Apple's folly, as they know nothing about what cars are supposed to be.

Naturally, it turns out that Apple knows a good deal about what the typical person would actually like in a car, and they sell millions of 'em.

Naturally, this leads to gearheads clawing their eyes out with rage at the sheer stupidity and worthlessness of the ordinary driver. Quirks are held up as fatal flaws, a sign that Apple exists solely because of slick commercials and glitzy designs.

Naturally, this leads to the auto industry spending the next five to seven years trying to play catch-up to Apple. Each automaker ends up changing pretty much their entire fleet to match the Apple Car's functionality and style.

Naturally, the auto industry eventually catches up to Apple Cars--and eclipses them, in some ways.

Naturally, the gearheads all roll their eyes at the morons who are still buying and driving Apple Cars, when the cars made by the industry are so clearly superior.

Rumors begin to circulate that Apple is designing a spacecraft.

Comment: Future Support Call (Score 1) 168

"...OK, sir, I've found the problem. Your order was not delivered because we have your address listed as a no-fly zone."

"...that's right, sir."

"...all you need to do is go to 'no fly zone dot org' and click the large 'unregister' button at the top of the page. Once the change goes through, your order will be on its way."

"...it should only take about fifteen minutes to process the change, sir."

"I understand your frustration with the delay, sir, but unfortunately, noflyzone.org is a third party website, and there's nothing we can do to accelerate the process."

"All right, then, sir, your pizza will on its way just as soon as that is resolved. Thank you again for your order. Is there anything else I can help you with today?"

"You too, sir. Goodbye."

Comment: Quality Journalimism (Score 5, Insightful) 397

by American AC in Paris (#48914945) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

"You heard the scare-mongering"

"Promised "2-3 feet" snow"

"government's overreach"

Congratulations, Timothy. Today's the day I take Slashdot up on its longstanding offer to disable advertising, and it's all because of you!

Because honestly, y'all don't deserve money for this level of pabulum.

Comment: Re:Look To History (Score 1) 479

We should let those skills themselves (and nothing else) determine who gets to practice them.

And that works wonderfully, given that we assume humans are frictionless spheres in a vacuum.

In the world in which we live, though, millennia of societal mores and pressures have resulted in a situation where huge swaths of people are presented with unique challenges and roadblocks simply by dint of their genetic makeup.

You simply cannot have a society based on merit so long as these deficiencies exist. If you want our world to become a meritocracy, then the responsibility of the coming generations is to work to eradicate these social discrepancies. To pretend they are no longer a factor does not move us towards a society built on merit.

Comment: Re:Look To History (Score 1) 479

This is when moms started joining the workforce. Educated in the 60s and beyond.

But there were already many women participating in the workforce, particularly as teachers, nurses, and clerical workers. Women formed the backbone of the war machine for World War II--and were basically kicked out of those jobs when the fighting ended, whether or not they wanted to be. The concept of women working wasn't foreign back then; it was the concept of women doing jobs they weren't supposed to do that was the big sticking point.

A woman invented half of the computer junk we use today at Xerox parc. Some of the greatest programmers of the past 40 years have been women.

Yes, absolutely yes! Until the 60's, this was completely true, because programming was viewed as women's work! Then something happened, and women dropped like flies from the ranks of computer programming. Did they suddenly stop being good programmers, or was something else going on?

I work for a giant company. Huge. You may have heard of us. Its women all up and down. Management and Tech.

I'm going to guess that you're with a Fortune 500 company, then. Consider this Senate testimony that goes into considerable detail as to the persistent gender challenges faced by women in large corporations in America, particularly in professional and higher-level positions. It includes data pulled from the Fortune 500, and goes into painstaking detail as to the disparities--both in numbers of women and their compensation--that continue to exist in large corporations.

Yes it's EDUCATION for women. Everything else follows. You want women in tech, incentivize them to LEARN TECH so they may achieve MERIT.

That's absolutely part of the solution, but it's only part of the solution. Those of us already in the tech sector need to be asking ourselves exactly why, for an industry that repeatedly insists that it is rooted on merit, we look so very different from the society in which we exist.

Further, there exists a clear and significant disparity between women and men pursuing CS degrees--a gap that didn't exist until the 90's. Something happened, and "well, that's just how things played out" doesn't cut it for me.

To focus on one industry is just bizarre handwaving.

Oh, this is a problem across many industries, but that doesn't mean we're somehow absolved of trying to get our own house in order. Further, we have some unique challenges of our own in this regard--the large drop in CS college enrollment, for example.

And the understanding that if gender doesn't want to get involved in a subject it doesn't mean we should establish a quota.

Oh, I recommended a quota? I must be getting old. I have no memory of doing any such thing.

Let's work on getting women in the middle east educated first.

Yes, we wouldn't want to overtax ourselves with doing more than one thing at the same time.

OK? Can we just cut the nonsense?

That would be wonderful.

Comment: Re:Look To History (Score 1) 479

Honestly I have never once witnessed sexism in my workplace when it comes to hiring.

Then you either work for an outlier of a company, or you haven't been able to see it where you are. When as many women--from as many levels and walks of life as we've seen--come out and very clearly state that this is, in fact, a problem, it behooves us to consider that they see and experience things that other people--men, for example--don't.

The problem is many women just don't apply or don't have the credentials!

It's a big part of it, yes! It was also a problem for the medical and legal professions in 1970!

Let's work on that sure, but I do not believe Tech has a problem as it is a meritocracy, and as such I have met many brilliant women in my line of work.

Tech is emphatically not a meritocracy. We really, really want to believe it is, but it simply isn't. It's about who you know. It's about growing up with the right teachers, the right environment, the right access. It's about having the luxury of time--years and years of time--to develop your skills on your own. Tech requires comprehension of advanced, abstract concepts--a thing that is difficult to get without sound educational roots. Tech is still, by and large, an elite playground.

This problem isn't up to the tech sector alone to solve. This is a huge, structural, society-wide problem, its roots going back for centuries. But we're part of that society, and for us to ignore our role in trying to fix it--or worse, claim that things are basically as they should be--would not be particularly meritorious of us.

Comment: Re:Look To History (Score 1) 479

I'm going to take two sentences from your original post and run with them. First, the opening sentence:

Your proposal begs the question that more women in those fields is beneficial.

...and the opener to your third paragraph:

Presuming that there is no fundamental gender-based inequality in skill is unwise.

If one presumes that there is, in fact, fundamental gender-based inequality in skill, then the most sensible stance to take in this matter would be "therefore, unless we get more women into these fields, we won't really be able to get good data on whether they make better doctors and lawyers than men!"

If we never have a world where women dominate the legal and medical fields, we'll never even have the opportunity to know whether or not we've been royally screwing it up for the past few centuries. After all, we're not about to presuppose that men are better at this than women, are we?

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a multipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer, as amended by Jeff Daiell, a Libertarian

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